The Arlington Restaurant combines Texas barbecue with Ethiopian favorites.  People are paying attention

The Arlington Restaurant combines Texas barbecue with Ethiopian favorites. People are paying attention

Fasicka and Patrick Hicks didn’t set out to create a new kind of barbecue.

But that’s precisely what they did with their Arlington restaurant, Smoke ‘N Ash BBQ.

The restaurant, which opened in 2018, has three separate menus: traditional Texas barbecue, traditional Ethiopian, and what they call Ethiopian-Tex.

Smoke ‘N Ash recently caught the attention of Daniel Vaughn, BBQ editor at Texas Monthly Known for anointing the best barbecue grills in the state. Traffic has already increased since Vaughn posted eulogies for the restaurant online last week, the couple said.

“Texas BBQ never ceases to amaze me. TexEthiopian BBQ at Smoke ‘N Ash BBQ in South Arlington ”, Vaughn posted on Twitter, along with several photos. from two recent visits.

The Hicks credit customers for giving them the idea to mix up their kitchens. Initially, the restaurant opened with just a traditional Texas barbecue: spare ribs, brisket, pulled pork, fried catfish – the kinds of foods that Patrick, a native Texan, grew up eating and cooking with his family.

About a year later, the couple added a separate Ethiopian menu. Fasicka, who moved to the United States from Ethiopia in 1996, grew up cooking dishes like doro wat, a chicken stew, and shiro, a chickpea stew, with her mother.

Eventually, customers ordered from both menus on the same tray, and the Hicks decided to create a Texan-Ethiopian menu.

Think doro wat, but with smoked chicken and breast nachos, but also chickpea puree, crumbled Ethiopian cheese, and crispy chunks of injera, a traditional fermented flatbread.

Smoked meats like brisket, wings, and pork ribs are cooked with berbere – a common Ethiopian spice mix with a mix of red chili peppers, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon, and more. Fasicka’s sister in Ethiopia makes the mix and sends it to Arlington.

Sambusas, an African-style fried pastry, are filled with a selection of smoked breast, smoked chicken, or lentils.

For dessert, there is a Texas sheet cake with berber-flavored walnuts.

The Hicks said they have realized that the two foods have more in common than they initially thought.

“At the barbecue, you put everything on a big tray and eat with your hands,” Patrick said. “Ethiopian food is the same. In a way they go hand in hand. “

Two-year-old Lochlan Hemminger gazed in awe at some of the garden decorations in Arlington's Interlochen neighborhood in 2019.

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